Last weekend, as the day was about to begin, I did something uncharacteristic; I flicked on the TV to see what was on. Keep in mind, I had an entire day of work ahead of me. As I surfed through the channels, of which there are far too many, I stumbled upon the John Wayne movie, The Cowboys. I love John Wayne movies, so rather than being a responsible lad, I sat me arse on the couch and started watching.
Without ruining anything, because it is an awesome movie that every guy should watch, there’s a point in the film that stands out as an especially old school and masculine moment. It’s also something that wouldn’t happen in today’s weak, self-entitled and politically correct society.
One of the young teenage boys that Wayne’s character had to hire for his cattle drive had a stutter. As they’re crossing a river near the beginning of their long journey, one of the other boys falls off his horse and into the water, nearly drowning. Wayne’s character lays into the kid with the stutter, saying something like, “if you wanted to stop stuttering you would! That boy could have drowned because of you.”
What you begin to realize is that Wayne’s character isn’t making fun of the boy, nor is he being unjustly hard on him. It only becomes apparent in the boy’s response as he yells, “you mean son of a bitch!” repeatedly at the elder, bigger, stronger man. What you notice is that in this fit of anger, the boy isn’t stuttering.
Wayne yells at him, “What did you say?!” again and again until the boy realizes that he’s broken through his stutter.
That wouldn’t happen today. In today’s society we’d cuddle the kid, treat him different than any of the other boys because he has a special difficulty. In the old days, though, men realized the simple fact that the world is unforgiving. It’s a cold and hard place. And to comfort a boy, no matter his difficulty, is to weaken him, and hinder him even further in the future.
Whether you’d care to admit it or not, there’s a war being waged against the strong, masculine values that have for centuries made great men, great.
As we become more politically correct, as we pander and aim to comfort, rather than helping and aiming to strengthen, we weaken not only our men, but our society on the whole. It needs to stop. If you want to be a strong, successful, good man, this article will lay out the principles you need to be at your best throughout the highs and lows that inevitably make up life.
1. Don’t aim for ease.
Theodore Roosevelt, a classic alpha male archetype, promoted the “strenuous life”. He saw ease, not only as unproductive, but evil. Nothing good comes from ease, yet it’s the ‘be all end all’ in modern society.
We work to vacation. We hustle to buy things. We have it backwards. The freedom is in the work. It’s in the grind, the journey, and the hustle. It’s in living the strenuous life that you grow and better your fellow man.
And so, as your pal’s take selfies of themselves on vacation, work. Put more strain on your life because you understand that it’s in the struggle that you become tougher and stronger and more manly.
2. See the world as it is, and make the best of it.
It’s weakness to treat the world as something that it isn’t. John Wayne’s character in that movie understood that if he treated the boy any differently than he would treat a man, he’d weaken him. He’d give him an excuse to fail in the future.
See the world as it is, and make the absolute best of it you possibly can. Know the hard work that happiness and success require of you. Ground yourself in honorable principles, and keep moving forward even when quitting is all you can think about.
Robert E. Lee is a great man to study who has this quality. No matter how dark the present was, he made the best of it.
3. Never complain or offer an excuse.
A man can’t complain, nor can he shift blame to another. A man stands up and places the blame square on his broad shoulders, never on another’s. He faces the music time and time again, even if it’s not entirely his fault, he finds a way to make it his fault because he’s the only one strong enough to carry the burden.
And again, a man never complains. That’s the definition of weakness. To complain is to give the power over your life to another. It’s to relinquish the control you have over your destiny and over your life.
Pay attention to your thoughts. As soon as you start complaining, stop. Understand that it does no good, only bad, and keep moving forward.
4. Never quit.
Studies continually show that success isn’t a matter of talent, but persistence. It’s the companies that outlast the others, that reach “their place in the sun.” The same is true for men.
If you want to live a great life, you can’t ever quit. You can’t ever admit that you’re done, because you’re not. So long as you’re breathing you’ll take on any battle, any enemy, and any obstacle. Persistence and assertiveness are very masculine qualities, they’re also rarely practiced today.
While your friends quit, keep working. Sure, you can adjust your tactics, you can pull out of a useless battle, but you never relent on the overall war.
5. Never pity someone.
A real man isn’t soft. He cares. He’s kind. But you could never call him weak. Be real with people. Lift them up. Never, ever pity them. Don’t feel bad for them, and if you do, show them how to rise above their situation.
People don’t want pity; they want progress. They don’t truly want a hand out; they want a hand.
Be a leader in your tribe and your community. Lead, of course, by example. Don’t shoot your mouth off at every opportunity. Make your words few, but strong, and your actions abundant, and grand.
This is the way of the man. This, my friend, is the way of the warrior. Keep fighting.
Chad is a former 9-5er turned entrepreneur, a former scrawny amateur boxer turned muscular published fitness author. He’ll give you the kick in the ass needed to help you live the big, ambitious life you should be living, and you can find him on Facebook and Twitter.
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